Turns out it’s #2. So, here goes – my review of Schismatic, a new, Kickstarter-born comic by none other than Rachel Briner and Andrew Adams. These folks are relative newcomers to the world, without the pedigree and gravitas of the usual 30-year comic veteran that we might usually see. This is a good thing. Their new comic brings forth some interesting ideas and concepts and does a very nice job of transporting us into their novel, dystopian world. In short, this comic is a little bit disruptive to the tired, rote stories that can sometimes be our only choice in comic books.
What’s it all about? I’ll tell you – and will do my best to limit spoilers. Also, I’ll be making some guesses about what it all might mean, as first issues tend to be a little short on detail.
It might be Earth – but if it’s not, our story takes place on some Earth-like planet. The natural cataclysm of volcanoes, earthquakes, and disaster NOS (not otherwise specified) has resulted in lots of dead people. At this point, a Cthulu-like god pops up and start killing survivors. Society (what’s left of it) forms into two groups: worshippers of the bad guy, and worshippers of a good “guy,” who is possibly non-existent.
Fast forward to a nice, loving family with 2 kids. An interaction with the forces of bad, a family torn asunder (kids go one way, parents another). Broken innocence, a possible path to the dark side . . . and we’ll see what happens in the next installment.
As with all great ideas, this comic “borrows” from all kinds of existing works. I noted Star Wars, Matrix, Dune, Cthulu, and Day After Tomorrow. (Okay, this one is a stretch, and it sucked, so not really Day After Tomorrow.) Those are some pretty powerful influences (except DAT, which I was kidding about), and the derivative comic is worth looking at.
The problem with this comic is significant. It’s a Kickstarter comic, and I really (really) want to know what will happen next. Kickstarter comics need your support. The problem is sometimes you don’t give enough.
The writing is compelling, if, at times, a little bit forced. This actually worked nicely, as it implied that we were glimpsing a foreign society which communicates differently. The art is off the hook. Seriously, aspiring artists might want to check this comic out, as cover-quality panels riddle this book.
Should you buy it? Nope. You should give them $$ on Kickstarter. A lot of it. For me. So I can read the next one.